Today’s shaping up to be a busy day so we’re going to go with an answer that I recently posted on Trulia Voices.
The question was whether a buyer can submit offers on more than one property at the same time. The array of answers were fairly interesting – one suggested a buyer should do this because the listing agent wouldn’t like it – but the reality is if you’re looking for bank owned homes under around $150,000 the multiple offer approach is a solid strategy.
Here was my full answer …
Of course, if you end up with the best offer on more than one home you simply cancel all but one contract … in the basic residential resale contract there is a 10-day inspection period during which a buyer can cancel for any reason, as long as there’s a reason. Some banks shorten this timeframe in their addenda but the principle behind the inspection period remains the same. (There are some lenders demanding a “zero-day” inspection period – essentially you’re on your own – and there are myriad reasons this should be a red flag causing most buyers to go running into the night.)
There are no laws precluding writing more than one offer simultaneously – seems like an odd thing to try and legislate – and in many areas, writing multiple offers is the most prudent way to go.
Look at it this way … lenders are accepting multiple offers and many accept offers for days on end until they select a contract. Many are issuing counter offers to multiple buyers to see what comes back and even then may withdraw all their counters at the drop of a hat to solicit offers via “higher and best.” And many are taking days (and some weeks) to respond to offers.
If you see four properties you like and would be willing to purchase if accepted, it makes no sense to write an offer on what we’ll call “property a” and then wait for an answer while properties b, c, and d sell out from under you. If the lender for property a doesn’t accept your offer, you’re sitting on the sidelines with all four of your choices gone and only having bid on one.
Just make sure you’ve got a competent agent keeping track of all your offers so you don’t find yourself with multiple acceptances.
If you’re not working with an agent and are trying this strategy on your own, make sure you’re familiar with the ins and outs of whatever contract you’re using so you don’t find yourself on the hook for more than one property.[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]